Governor Abbott Provides Updates On State Fire Response Efforts In Medina County
Governor Greg Abbott today received a briefing from state and local officials in Medina County and held a press conference to provide an update on the state's response to fire activity in Medina County. Governor Abbott was joined at the press conference by Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd and local officials. During the press conference, the Governor also amended the disaster declaration in response to fire activity throughout Texas to include Medina County.
"The State of Texas continues to collaborate with local officials on the ground and respond to fire activity to keep Texans safe," said Governor Abbott. "Thank you to our first responders and emergency response personnel who are working tirelessly to protect communities impacted by fire activity. As we continue address fire activity, I encourage Texans to remain weather-aware and continue to heed the guidance from local officials to keep their loved ones safe. I ask that Texans join the First Lady and me in praying for those affected by the fires and severe weather that has impacted many parts of the state."
During remarks, the Governor noted that 19 state agencies and over 200 firefighters are currently involved in responding to this disaster. The Governor also mentioned local officials are working around the clock to improve the fire conditions so that electricity can be restored to the homes that have not been damaged in the area. Three homes have been lost during the fire and 37 others have been threatened.
During the press conference, the Governor also encouraged Texans in Medina County and other impacted communities to complete TDEM’s Self Reporting Damage Survey. This survey will help the state identify damages and help emergency management officials gain an understanding of damages that occurred. This data is also needed to provide information to FEMA to determine the state's eligibility and highlight the need for federal disaster assistance for individuals. The voluntary survey, available in both English and Spanish, can be accessed by visiting: damage.tdem.texas.gov. Reporting damage to TDEM is a voluntary activity, is not a substitute for reporting damage to an insurance agency, and does not guarantee disaster relief assistance. Texans in Medina County can also visit medinacountytexas.org to access current details and to sign up for emergency alerts and information.
Shelter is available for Texans who have been evacuated or lost their homes as a result of the fire. The shelter is currently at Loma Alta Middle School, but emergency officials will be providing a new location later today.
Last week, Governor Abbott directed TDEM to increase the readiness level of the State Emergency Operations Center (SOC) and increase resources to respond to elevated and critical risks for wildfires in Texas, including central and southern sectors.
Many regions of Texas remain under a high to extreme elevated fire risk due to high winds, low humidly, and drought conditions. Texans are encouraged to remain weather-aware and practice wildfire safety, particularly in areas where burn bans are active, to keep their communities safe.
For a list of state resources, visit https://www.tdem.texas.gov/disasters/2022-march-wildfires.